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40% Increase in Erasmus funding will allow thousands more East Midlands students to study and train abroad

November 19, 2013 4:59 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

The European Parliament today approved the new "Erasmus+" programme which will provide over £12 billion for young people, staff and teachers to study or train abroad over the next seven years, an increase of 40% compared to the current budget.

Bill Newton Dunn in EU ParliamentThe programme also includes a new Masters Loan Guarantee, backed by the European Investment Bank, which will enable students to take out low-interest loans of up to 18,000 euros to undertake post-graduate studies across the EU.

Since 2007, almost 60,000 (59,297) British students have studied or done a work placement abroad through the Erasmus programme and almost 4,500 of them have come through East Midlands universities. This figure is now to set to increase to provide many more students a chance to benefit from this excellent opportunity to study abroad.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MEP Bill Newton Dunn said:

"The Erasmus program represents the EU at its best, bringing young people from different countries and cultures together and allowing them to learn a new language and experience a new way of life."

"3 million people have received grants to study or do vocational training abroad since the Erasmus programme was formed in 1987. Thanks to this huge increase in funding, another 4 million are set to benefit by 2020."

"We now need to ensure that young people in the East Midlands are aware of the exciting opportunities this programme provides to study and train abroad across the European continent. We need to see more students taking up this excellent chance to develop useful skills that would make them stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs."

The Facts

The new Erasmus+ programme includes a loan guarantee scheme to help Master's degree students to finance their studies abroad set up with the European Investment Bank Group. The EU will act as a guarantor against the possible default on loans which will be disbursed by financial intermediaries. The initiative will be complementary to national funding schemes, where they exist. The length of the study period shall be between one and two years. The guarantee shall cover new eligible student loans of up to a maximum of 12,000 euros for a one-year Master's programme and up to 18,000 euros for a two year Master's programme, with favourable terms, including low interest and repayment after a first job has been obtained.

For the year 2011-2012, a record 13,662 young British citizens took up the opportunity to go abroad to study or gain work experience in companies or other organisations with the help of the Erasmus programme.

Between the years 2007 and 2012, 4,436 students from East Midlands universities have taken part in the scheme.